CVS Caremark grows platform for PBM clients to manage digital health tools 

The front entrance of a CVS Pharmacy
Here's a look at the new tools on CVS Caremark's Point Solutions Managment platform. (Eric Glenn/Shutterstock.com)

CVS Caremark is adding five new digital health tools to its platform aimed at making it easier to manage point wellness solutions. 

The Point Solutions Management platformlaunched in 2019 as Vendor Benefit Management, will grow to include Hello Heart, Hinge Health, Livongo, Torchlight and Whil among Caremark’s pharmacy benefit management (PBM) clients.

The platform launched initially with Big Health’s Sleepio, a digital tool aimed at improving sleep. 

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“Plan sponsors increasingly see the value in healthcare point solutions for improving workforce productivity, satisfaction and overall well-being, however, with so many options on the market it can be challenging to identify trusted solutions that best meet the needs of their members,” said Sree Chaguturu, M.D., chief medical officer at Caremark, in a statement. 

RELATED: Patients with the most to gain from digital health hardly engage with new tools 

Here’s a closer look at the solutions Caremark is backing: 

  • Hello Heart provides patients with a digital blood pressure cuff that connects to an app that tracks readings, weight and physical activity and offers medication reminders.  

  • Hinge Health aims to address pain using a digital platform that offers one-on-one coaching and exercise therapy to reduce chronic pain, opioid use and the need for surgery. 

  • Livongo offers an integrated platform to assist patients in managing diabetes and hypertension through digital coaching and connected devices include blood pressure monitors, scales and blood glucose meters. 

  • Torchlight’s tool is designed to reduce the stress on caregivers through a digital tool and a team of expert advisers. 

  • Whil is a digital platform that offers training for mindfulness, stress relief, mental well-being and performance. 

Chaguturu said Caremark has used a “rigorous and transparent evaluation process” to determine which solutions are a best fit for the platform and has set standards for members' safety, quality and experience. 

RELATED: CVS invested $67M in housing last year. Here’s a look at where that money went 

That process, CVS said in its announcement, includes a review for clinical effectiveness and data security. Caremark clinicians will test the full end-to-end consumer experience for each potential tool offered through the platform. To start, Caremark's team ranked clinical conditions by spend and then a second time by client need, before mapping potential vendors for the platform in that ranking.

The ranking process identified three key areas of need: high-cost conditions, conditions that heavily impact members' quality of life and complex needs. Examples in the first category include common and pricey conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, while quality of life concerns include mental health and stress, substance abuse and the social determinants of health.

Needs falling into the latter category include caregiver supports, fertility solutions and symptom triaging, CVS said in a brief (PDF) on the program. As payers adopt the various tools, Caremark will offer ongoing performance tracking, including data on clinical and security standards.

The platform also aims to ease the contracting process and make such agreements simple and secure.

Express Scripts, another massive PBM, has rolled out a similar platform to help its plan sponsor clients find wellness solutions that best fit the needs of their members. Express Scripts’ digital health formulary includes 15 tools that target five conditions and include preferred tiers as a guide. 

Respondents to the Business Group on Health’s annual survey last year said they see the promise in the digital tools in the market, but finding the right ones is a huge challenge. Kristen Brown, director of benefits at JetBlue, echoed this in a statement. 

“As a large employer with a diverse workforce, healthcare point solutions are an essential component of our overall benefits package, but it can be time-consuming and costly to identify, evaluate and contract individually with each vendor,” Brown said. 

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